For one it would help me to know your background. On the main page (singlegoal.competivism.com/singlegoal) there are two links from "about us" section, describing the background the two individuals who composed this site. My profile is under the alias "Dima" and though some information is outdated it could give you a better idea of who you are communicating with. I'm not sure what age you assumed but the author of the site you read is 24, and I am 21.
What already breaks one of your points is that there are two of us. That means there could soon be three, four or more. But even two are enough to create a group distinctly different from this society. We defy this society's pointlessness by grouping and by making every one of our actions a strategic step toward the non-specific goal of uncovering the purpose.
Your conclusion contradicted your first sentence. Even if it seems nearly impossible that life has a purpose we must struggle as it has one. The alternative is irrelevant to assume. The only meaning that we can accept, and I'm sure you agree with this, is one that we can be certain of. We can't be certain of religions, gods or any conventional meanings, nor can we be certain of "pleasure", happiness or anything else similar.
I find nothing wrong with the "factual" statements that you make, what shocks me is your conclusion. After everything you wrote suddenly you say the meaning of life is to get "pleasure"? Can you even define that word? In fact everything you said in the end seems like junk. What is the meaning of "love yourself"? What is the point of anything you state there? Maybe I'm missing a final goal or point to your conclusion? Or is it a test to see if I can pickup the fallacy of it?
You state (or imply) near the end that we are the next stage in evolution, the next step beyond the animals known as humans. So why should we not group together, form the basis of the next generation of humanity? It seems no matter how low the odds of success the alternative is immediate failure, so it is not worth considering.
Please read the remainder of our site, you will find that "defiance" was only a possible forefront for our ideas, but definitely not at all the only basis of our views.
Candidate: It's been over a month since I wrote that email, but I looked over it after you sent this reply, and yes, the ending does contradict the rest of it. Perhaps the semantics of using personal and floppy words like "pleasure" and "love" doesn't make sense when the premise sets up a universe where such words have always been superstitious at best and deceptive at worst.
So from now on I will stick to the more graphic and factual explanations of my point of view.
So, "Get all the pleasure out of the time and energy you have ahead of you", meant the following:
1. Indulge the physical senses.
2. Indulge in intellectual stimulation.
At least one of these will fade with age. (Perhaps the other will grow, I am only 25, so I make no claims, and using someone else as a reference is a joke).
"Love yourself " in that sentence meant: Have self esteem, not in spite of the fact that others hate or dislike you etc. but BECAUSE OF IT. That's a big attitude. Of course, the whole "Its me against the world" approach is very old, but I have added to it.
Not having seen evidence in my life of anyone else who isn't a fucking puppet has lead me to believe that there is no one else. Oh there was at least one who showed promise, (a friend, not a lover) but to my dissatisfaction I was constantly reminded that they were only human, and so I remain cautious to assume there is anyone out there who is worth intellectual time and energy…
That would be the reason for my advice to live a life of total internal solitude, for each time I have sought in others the mental mechanics I have in myself, I have wasted time and energy, and then returned to my usual nihilstic state more educated on the design of lesser beings. Of course this statement may sound lofty, if one believes being better than human is infers divinity. This opinion is the real conceit of this race.
Yet beyond all of this, I still fantasize that I am not alone, that life can be as unpredictable just like a good storyline, and if not, it still makes no sense to accept failure willingly. Thereby I survive the sphere of shame guiltless. Although I have also learned this: If we do not constantly swerve back and forth between the lucid realizations of our own doom and the dubious quests for anything great to make this commonness worth enduring, then our efforts will become too far fetched and improbable. The balance has to be struck between idealism and pragmatism. The space BETWEEN fantasy and reality, is where mastery occurs. In other words, to be fair - Considering suicide puts things into perspective and from that point we see with can see farther into the dark unknown and more clearly. Serenity through the closeness of death allows us to aspire to more realistic and worthwhile goals than pursuing those we have already failed at.
As for a description of myself, I am not a student of philosophy. I am living through analysis and sensation. I am not a gothic or a geek. I have no peircings or tattoos, I am a white male who looks just like another college student. I blend in, because in a world of surfaces, illusion defines actuality, relationships are based on stereotypes, myths are substitutes for self improvement, and deception has the volume and fluidity of currency. I am not successful insofar as having a career right now, I work in a call center in Pittsburgh. I am currently looking for a new job to have more time to spend on my art and writing. I am surprised that I have spent any time at all sending email to some stranger on the web, but I find it interesting that someone else shares some of my perceptions.
I still have to read the rest of your website, it is interesting so far. I will let you know if I have any opinions afterwards.
Well, if any of the above reads unclear or incomplete, or raises further questions, feel free to email me and I will reply and try to be more specific. In our case philosophy seems to be more a game of words than a clashing of ideas, but I think a completely translucent method of communication between all waking minds in the future is a very realistic and worthwhile goal.
Dima: I didn't remember reading your response before, going back I found it. It was sent eaxctly two months ago. The reason I never read it is because of one you wrote after ward. It immediately disqualified you as someone worth communicating with.
Why? Well something key is missing. Or more accurately, something extra is there that is in the way. You seek "pleasure" or "happiness", however you want to coin it. We don't.
It has nothing to do with self denial, nothing to do with fearing becoming like others or anything else people would attribute it to. I simply feel no desire or preference for those specific emotions above others. I've experienced them and their opposite and it makes very little difference to me which to prefer. I think the notion of wanting to be "happy" is yet another fake, another element of social programming. It makes no logical sense, it's completely arbitrary...
Are you saying that you judge your success in life by percent of time you received pleasure? Number of times you received pleasure? Have you decided on the percentage already? Let's make it 10% shouldn't we? Or maybe 1000 instances or pleasure? Those sound like good round goals. About as good as any other goal anyone else on this planet if pursuing. How can you criticize others then? You're doing the same thing as they are, that's all.
Are you content with happiness then? Content with pleasure and pointless distractions? Just waiting for time to pass by so you can die faster? I don't see how that could make any difference to me. Maybe when I'm miserable at least I'm not wasting time as quickly, maybe I'm more content this way, I can't even be certain of that much.
It seems to me then you are no better then they are. Your goals are arbitrary and hence your actions are random.
Have you ever tried justifying to your self why you seek pleasure? I know I could not justify something as abstract to myself.
In most of your email you are trying to give advice on what I should do -- enjoy life, love myself, etc. Why? What's the point of this advice? The logical action would be to seek to understand any differences in our logic in hopes we can come to a common conclusion. Your statements also sound very certain, I'm sure you realize that even when you re-read your statements later you will disagree with some of them. Yet you are giving them as if advice from someone who discovered all truths and certainties. If the texts on our pages and in my emails do not demonstrate that we are at least equals in our ability and understanding then you are not being attentive.
There should be some presumptions made about this communication that would make it worth while, and not just another pointless discussion one has with other humans. I communicate presuming you are an equal until the chances become too low to make communication worth while, at which time I will likely seize communicating, I hope you can communicate with a similar presumption. Also I presume that with enough effort any two intelligent beings will be able to come to same logical conclusions. That is, for any topic there is a conclusion that is logically more optimal then the rest. Our communication should thus likely consist of finding points of disagreement and then attempting to eliminate them by determining which side is more logical. Without those presumptions this communication is nothing more then another social practice.
I can respond to the rest of the points you made later. I have much work to finish right now and I'm only writing this to get this off my mind.
I'm sorry if my tone was over aggressive, I am simply in a hurry to finish this.
Note by Michael: The candidate actually sent the following message on October 6th, 2001. Another one was sent immediately after it, and then an exact copy was sent on December 5th, 2001. We didn't recognize that the same message was sent to us twice, hence the the somewhat confused nature of this dialogue.
Candidate 10-06-2001: You don't have the gift. Being a defiant should be about revenge, and self perfection, not perfection of the world. The world cannot ever be perfect, but our perfect interaction with it is the goal, don't you get it? The world already is perfect! (see nice paradox) It just depends on who you are in it! Your "defiance" is still about wanting the world to be what it was "supposed" to be in your dreams. Wah, fucking wah. Screw that. Changing the world is not necessary or possible; Make yourself perfect, use their imperfections, and then all this bellyaching and so-called defiance goes away. The only goal worth achieving, the only revenge or real "defiance" on this world, is to use it against itself, not to try and change it. Why bother? Who cares? I don't give a fuck about them. Only a monster has the power to help anyone out in this world anyway. Become a monster. Stop crying like a helpless baby about everything that's wrong with the world and use it instead, and exploit it better than they do. That doesn't mean becoming them, it doesn't mean that you've conformed, you idiot, it just means that by becoming the opposite of wrong you do not automatically become right, as your simple philosophy tirelessly states over and over again, in the ancient tone of the classic teenager ridden with hormonal angst and general pissedoffedness, that isn't thinking for yourself either. Your brand of defiance spends way too much time thinking about how not to think about the bullshit you say you shouldn't think about, because you think it will make you one of them. Paranoid? No. Generic? Yes. Get a fucking backbone! Are you brainwashable or not? I am not, and it has nothing to do with most of your values which seem to come close but sadly miss the point entirely. Your focus is them, and it should be you. Do not focus on the other defiants, which you know you'll never find (though you exhibit the nagging, squishy human need to belong to a group), not the society you are trying to defy by making a religion out of being a slacker, not the act of defying either, it should be - guess what? YOU! If you want to defy, you have to know your enemy, and you avoid that because you think you'll become the enemy, or waste time by getting to know them. Have you learned nothing by watching them!? Getting to know and understand conformists is all there is to life, it is through this knowledge alone that they are exploited, and there is little else in this world worth knowing. You can't define yourself as the lone ranger who doesn't care about and learn about what they care about and learn about. If you do, you have joined many who are just as unprepared to take advantage of the system and the people in it, and therefore are taken advantage of by the system and the people in it. The Native Americans didn't want to learn about the white man for the same reasons, they didn't want to be contaminated by the flawed ideologies. Even you know that had they studied the society they did not want to become like, they would have avoided assimilation for a much longer time. And why the hell do you seem to think that you can't get all A's AND still have plenty of brain power to be an individual? Ever hear of a trojan horse? Ever hear the phrase changing things from the inside? If you studied some interesting history for the goal I stated in the beginning, you might have learned about how dissenting groups within a church operate. They worjked in secrecy, from the inside, they maintained that they could not leave it because they wanted to change it. You seem to think you cannot be in it without being slave to it. Wrong. It is simple, learn about others and feed on others or be learned of and be fed on by others. Yes, that means everything they teach is not useless, you just have to use it for something else. E er hear that saying, no man is an island? I always hated it, but you know what? Now I don't hate i t anymore, I just use it as they basis for a strategy. They need someone, I need someone. We will meet, one will be a victim one will be a predator. In any human relationship the dynamic is always the same, you must learn to decide to be the one on top. This means playing the game, which means learning some of what they learn and then some more. This game is called life and that is all there is to it, so if you find anything else "serious" or "interesting" in life worth learning, I dare you to email it to me; There is no such thing.
Candidate 12-06-2001: Pleasure or happiness, does not have to be an arbitrary or abstract goal. It isn't even arbitrary or abstract by nature. Only society makes arbitrates it for the masses. But for me, all considerations for pleasure and pain are part of the acquisition of my goal, not in conflict with it. All that I do is not just to feel, but all that I feel is part of my goal, and yes in the end feeling is at the core of success. We are not talking about an unstructured aimless lifestyle here, I plan my life everyday. Long term, short term and everything in between. I wage the importance of everything I do, in realtion to my greater goal. I see nothing in my life that reminds me of anything abstract, yet from your assumptions, I am sure it seems to be abstract. In fact, anyone who knows me knows there is nothing abstract about me or the way I look at or live my life. But of course from a distance it probabaly appears that way, because I am an artist, and as one I feel and interpret the meaning of feeling. I am also a scientist, I collect, analyse and interpret data. But I see no contradiction here, science and art are exactly the same thing. Do you have anything to add to that? Is this where we disagree?